Review – Beautiful Chaos
  • Posted:
  • August 21, 2011

More than two years ago I received, and devoured, an ARC of Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. I utterly loved it, it was one of my favourite books of 2009. Last month I received a special, super rare manuscript spiral bound edition of the third book, Beautiful Chaos, from the publisher. They sent me a copy of Chaos specifically because I wrote the Indiebound review for Beautiful Creatures.  Before you ask there are not advanced reading copies of this book save these few MS copies that were made.

This week I was in the mood for this world so I read Dream Dark and just polished off Beautiful Chaos over the past few days. It. Was. Stunning. And tragic. Wow. These ladies have really stepped up their game with this book.

Lest we not ruin the book with a spoilery synopsis I’m going to do something I very rarely do; copy/paste the publisher’s synopsis from the description of the book instead of writing my own. I somehow manage to give away details. So, here is the summary:

“Ethan Wate thought he was getting used to the strange, impossible events happening in Gatlin, his small Southern town. But now that Ethan and Lena have returned home, strange and impossible have taken on new meanings. Swarms of locusts, record-breaking heat, and devastating storms ravage Gatlin as Ethan and Lena struggle to understand the impact of Lena’s Claiming. Even Lena’s family of powerful Supernaturals is affected – and their abilities begin to dangerously misfire. As time passes, one question becomes clear: What – or who – will need to be sacrificed to save Gatlin?”

What Garcia and Stohl do in this book is nothing short of masterful. There’s always been a magic to their work (no pun intended); crispness and a quality that is barely rivaled in the Young Adult market. But, in this book, they have defeated their biggest rivals…themselves. It’s so hard as writers to keep readers’ attentions (and affections) running for several books in a series. Plots start to dwindle, character arcs become dull or tedious, and readers slip into ennui, become apathetic. Not so with this book. The main crux of this story will have readers gasping with anticipation until the final page.

I loved this. I devoured it. It’s the book in the series that is most centered on the relationships and how the relationships between the characters in the small town of Gatlin can be tested and tampered with and broken. It is the book that is most about the characters within and their interactions. It’s the book that most beautifully underscores what relationships mean between loved ones, and what some sacrifices are truly worth. I was crying at the end of this book. It’s pretty damned poignant.

I always appreciate the parallels between classic books that Garcia and Stohl imply. With book one it reminded me of Tennessee Williams and Harper Lee. Harper Lee is still prevalent (in fact quoted) in this book, but this one draws heavily upon Of Mice and Men and The Crucible; two great stories, two great parallels. Two great epics that predicate this idea perfectly.

I am in a panic for the next book. I will have to reread these before book four comes out, I very much know that. I don’t even know the name yet. Any guesses out there, folks? I feel very honoured to have been able to read it this early. Also, this has little relevance, but I have always thought that Macon reminds me of Richard Anderson from The Long Hot Summer. That is who I picture for him every time I read these books…the drawl and attitude is spot on I think.

5 out of 5 stars. Perfect.

– BP

– Follow the Reader –






Library Thing




* Beautiful Chaos releases October 18th, 2011. Please do not ask to borrow my manuscript copy. I will not be loaning it out.

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